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Fruit trees often need another tree to pollinise them.

rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
     I have over the years bought two plums and a persimmon that give no fruit, my wild plums though do give fruit, and I have, inherited from the former owner of the house five pears  which don't give fruit, I have an almond that gives very little fruit and I only found out the probable reason for this in the last two weeks.
     In the last two mounths or so I have discovered, reading about apples and later other fruit, that apart from trees that need a male plant to fertilise them wher ethe pollen prducing parts come on a male tree and the ovum produing ones on a different and fel¡male plant, which is the case with some fruits, there are lots of fruit trees that are self sterile, that is that ferilise fruit of other varieties of apple say but not those of their own variety, so one tree of this type will not have fruit, its flowers wont polinize each other, nor will a group of trees of only this variety of whichever frruit it is have fruit they need a tree of a different variety of apple say, to pollinise them. It also happens that there are some fruit trees  that do fertilise trees of their own variety and themselves but that bare much bigger crops of fruit if they are fertilised by a tree of another variety of apple, pear, plum etc.. This other variety has to be one with the same flowering time as the tree you want to get apples off.
      I felt a bit agreived that the nurseries did not say to me, "have you bought that plum because you want plums, do you already have other plums, are they of the right sort to polinise this tree because unless you have a plum of a different variety to fertilise it it wont give fruit and that different variety has to be one that flowers at the same time as this variety not all varieties of plum flower early or late etc. If you have not got a comp'limentary tree  you will be getting flowers but no fruit. The on line sights that sell fruit do talk about this. The subject has lots of ins and outs to it so  you need to give a bit of time to it. agri rose macaskie.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
you are so right that many plants including fruit and nut trees often need a pollinator and even if they are self fertile they might fruit better with a pollinator.

best way to find a good pollinator, if you can't find out from doing some research into your plants particular heritage and pollinators needed for your  plant, is to note the time of bloom and find pollinators that bloom at the same time..

for existing trees, watch for each particular type plant to come into bloom and then find another tree of the same type that is blooming somewhere in your area..cut a branch from that tree and put it in a bucket under your blooming tree..then mark that tree and when you are able to get buds or grafts off of it, go back and get the grafts or buds to graft onto your tree to grow a pollinating branch for your tree.

Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6678
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
Rose stated that the nursery did not query if she had a pollinator.  Quite often, in the US the nursery will tell you that the tree needs a pollinator, even if that is NOT the case...I guess they want to sell two trees instead of one.  A good nursery will tell you, one way or the other.  Unfortunately, many big box nurseries have staff that do not know.  In an earlier post, I listed about 5 dozen apple varieties that need no pollinator...they are self fertile.  Handy to know if you have limited space.

EDITED to add link:

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/7503_0/woodland-care/self-fertile-apples

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
i always kinda chuckle (seems so unnatural) when i hear about fruit trees with several varieties of fruit grafted on them, but i have to wonder if this could solve the problem?

does anyone know if grafting occurs in nature much, or at all? or its just a random possibility that we happened to figure out and exploit.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
boddah i think that if two branches grow absolutly touching they can unite, I have a picture of havign seen this in my head.
    john polk if i had read your bit on self pollinating trees before, I might hardly have taken it in, I was so  ignorant of the necessity to have two varieties of tree to get fruit or to optimise fruiting.
     I put in this thread because I thought that the subject needed a whole bit to itself, it maybe that there is a thread on this already,  there are so many threads it is hard to be botherd to look through them all before startign a new thread.  I thought the subject needed a place people could go to look up detailes about pollinisation.

 Brenda, it is a great idea looking out for trees that flower at the same time as yours and grafting on pollinators and also it is one that will serve for people in far away lands who don't have nurseries.
    I shall have to learn to graft.
       I have not yet given up enough time to facebook and i dont get my way round it easily, i think i have managed to answer only one message so far but i will learn one day. I will have to stop always turning to permaculture page when i put my computer if i want to get good at it. I am also playing free on line typing games to see if i can get better at typing.  agri rose macaskie.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
Rose I have noticed that your typing has improved a great deal over several years ago, so hey, you are making some great progress..

I think I have you on my facebook friends..if not it is Brenda Kay Groth, I can always use more friends..
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
  i think i have you on face book and that in the days when i had not managed to send a letter to any one. thats why i mentioned it, still here i am writting here again instead of trying to get familiarised with face book. I am just land crazy.
  I have l aways been so bad at spelling and punctuation and i think I have been getting a bit better at these two more than at typing. rose.
    Hey everyone, what about more information on the different fruit trees and polinisation, if you lot dont all cough up i will write a long essay on it which will be much more of a bore to  read, this is called coercion.  agri rose macaskie.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
apples nearly always need a pollinator but they are sow common that most can be pollinated by those of your neighbors.

peaches need pollinators for a good crop but apricots tend to be self fertile but do better with a pollinator

cherries need pollinators, but sours will pollinate sweets and some sours are self fruitful

Plums I think are self fruitful but do better with a pollinator, pears need a pollinator and it is important that they bloom at the same time

buffalo berry and kiwi and some others require both a male and female plant to produce berries,

blueberries do better with several different species..the more the merrier..

I beleive mulberries require 2, and most nut trees require a pollinator,

with the Juglands I'm NOT sure if they will pollinate each other or not..i have a black walnut, english carpathian walnut and a butternut and have put in 2 black walnut seeds this year..but not sure if they'll pollionate each other or not..

in most cases I try to plant several different species of each fruit tree or bush that I put in to insure good pollination even if they are self fruitful as more variety does generally mean a better crop
Anna Carter


Joined: Feb 11, 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Lacey, Wa
This page has a list of pollination information and charts, for apples, cherries, plums and pears: http://www.raintreenursery.com/pollin_home.cfm. Might be a useful resource.


I'm a young and I'm not going to contort myself to fit in with our very ill society. I am a citizen of the world, not a mindless consumer. If you want to follow along with my journal, here's my blog: Life Happened Today
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6678
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
It appears to me that the Raintree Nursery link is giving some bad information.  When they state the Queen Cox is the only self-fertile apple, they must mean the only one they sell that is self-fertile , as there are dozens of self-fertile varieties.  In my other post, (http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/7503_0/woodland-care/self-fertile-apples) I linked to a list of 5 dozen varieties.

Here is more info on self-fertile apples (the second link gives descriptions of varieties they sell, and include pollinization requirements if required)

http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/article/30/

http://www.pacificgroves.com/explore/fruit_trees_v.html
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
     
      I have read that crab apple trees flower over a long preiod of time so they will do to fertilise apples from any pollinisation group.
      Crab apples have strong taste and maybe help you to produce apples with an interesting flavour if you are trying to produce seed that produces good apples.

      I read about one man who took a lot of seed from his cider apples and grew it till it fruited to see which seed produced that best fruit and find a new variety of apple so that is a way of finding new varieties of apples though if you read the stories of most varieties of apple they are of people just discovering a good new variety like the story Brenda Groths story in another thread of people whatrching to see which trees fruit children were most given to picking  because they eat the fruit of the trees that have the most palatable fruit. People used to find new varieties because they ate the apples of a tree that grew up in a hedge or on a rubbish dump and liked the taste and so propogated that tree. agri rose macaskie.

  .
Anna Carter


Joined: Feb 11, 2011
Posts: 66
Location: Lacey, Wa
John Polk wrote:
It appears to me that the Raintree Nursery link is giving some bad information.  When they state the Queen Cox is the only self-fertile apple, they must mean the only one they sell that is self-fertile , as there are dozens of self-fertile varieties.  In my other post, (http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/7503_0/woodland-care/self-fertile-apples) I linked to a list of 5 dozen varieties.

Here is more info on self-fertile apples (the second link gives descriptions of varieties they sell, and include pollinization requirements if required)

http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/article/30/

http://www.pacificgroves.com/explore/fruit_trees_v.html



Yeah, I'm sure they mean it's the only one of the varieties they sell, as these are the same tables they print in their catalogs.
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
        I read that different varieties of pears mostly flower at about the same time as each other so any other variety of pears would do to polinise them. Brenda Groth says that you need a pear whose floration coincides with the pear you have and i find Brenda Groth always seems to have more experience than anyone else at growing fruit and vegetables so I had better plump for her advice.
       Whatever variety you have there is another complication, some pears are triploide which need two varieties of pear to pollinise them. The jargonelle pear is one of these, its flavour is what inspired those sweets called pear drops that taste of nail varnish remover if i remember right, or that is how i saw the taste of pear drops as a child.

     On the subject of pears, the decorative, flowering pear's fruit, that is uneatable for us, feeds a lot of fauna, according to Nick Mann of Habitat Aid, so if you are a fan of looking out for the needs of other animals on the planet, not just ourselves, then it is a tree that will interest you but I have not found that people suggest it as a tree that will pollinise all your varieties of pears  whether they flower early or late as a crab apple will pollinate all your apples.
       I tapped "flowering pear pollinises pear trees" or some such into google and pressed search and though i found forums with people asking if flowering pears pollinise other varieties of pears, I did not find anyone who said that they did.  I did find one person who suggests that one might try the willow leafed pear, pyrus salicifolia, to pollinise your pear trees, apparently this sort of decorative pendular pear tree, has a long flowering season, so it might do to pollinise pears within all flowering groups, all varieties of pears. 
       I, for instance, don't know what type of pears i have which makes it hard to match their pollinisation time with that of any other variety of pear and i dont know of any other pear trees in the village, th egardens seem to be pretty much hiden from sight, so i cant wander round looking at them to see which flowers at the same time as mine so as to find a pollinisation partner, which is the other way of finding a pollinisation partner for your fruit trees, suggested above by Brenda Groth. As the village is at a thousand metres above sea level, if i find a pear that is flowering in Madrid, in a nursery, at the same time as the flowers in my garden, it is no guarantee it will flower at the same time i find it flowereing in Madrid several hundred metres higher up, i find when there is the same variety of tree in Madrid as i have, it flowers in Madrid way before it flowers in my garden that is why i was looking for something that would pollinise pears of any flowering group.
        It seems that it¡f i get a pear of a middle type flowering group it s¡will flower earlier flowering varieties ones or the later flowering ones.

       I have also read that pears have very little nectar so the bees aren't exactly crazy to pollinate them, so you should put your hive in the feild with them when they flower, always supposing you  have a hive of bees, I certainely don't.  agri rose macaskie
mary beth rew


Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 12
making my first post here because this subject appeared right when i was wondering what kind of fruit tree is flowering in my front yard (and failing to fruit). it needs a friend, but i don't know what kind! anyone have a good resource for identifying fruit trees? this tree is gigantic and i like the idea of it actually bearing fruit... let's see if my image link works.


mary beth rew


Joined: Apr 11, 2011
Posts: 12
http://www.flickr.com/photos/48666624@N05/5658221666/in/photostream

this links to a photo of the tree in question on the off chance anyone has a guess.


[Thumbnail for Photo405.jpg]

rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
Is that a cherry? Its easier to tell from the leaves that aren't fully out yet. rose
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
I don't remember saying anything about watching children to see what apples they eat..

I do however have 3 apples that grew from seed to full grown apples on my property.

We used to just throw our apple cores or rotted apples in our field, and we also threw old apples into the woods to feed our deer during hunting season back in the 1970's..so we had a tree grow up in the woods from that..

we also had 2 other self seeded apple trees that we lost during the reconstruction after our housefire that had wonderful apples..

One of our self seeded apple trees has some delicious smaller apples that are green with a red blush, nearly all red when ripe, crisp white flesh and they are very juicy with not a hint of bitterness..the tree is full size and bears bushels of apples if the blossoms don't freeze..

The second self seeded aple that we have is right by our pond, it is a softer all yellow apple when ripe, which is very early, and has an odd texture and a slightly musty flavor, seet, very seet, no acidity at all, and it has a lot of little marks on the flesh when ripe but they don't go through to the fruit, so if the fruit is peeled it is lovely to eat.

the third self seeded apple we have is in the midst of our north woods, we have a  trail around it..it only had a few apples up high in the branches last year after I discovered it and I wasn't able to get to them to taste them..we need to clear out some of the tree branches around it to get more sun to it this year..last year all of our fruit trees lost their blooms to 3 days of 20, 22, 20 F temps on Mother's day weekend..hopefully we'll hae a better year this year.

I have so far not been disappointed with any of the apple trees that grew from seed here, there is a transparent type on the property next door that was growing here when we moved here 40 yeras ago, and it also has wonderful fruit..it was self seeded.
David Castillo


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 25
Location: IL/WI Border
Brenda,

My parents had a Mulberry tree in their yard and it always fruited with lots, and I mean lots, of berries. There was also one on community property that was much larger and older on the other side of the neighborhood, and it also fruited perfectly fine.

Looking at the website below it appears that most Mulberry is self-pollinating.

http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/mulberry.html

I wonder if my parents have the Illinois Everbearing, since that's where they live. 

Update - Forgot to mention they are amazingly good.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6678
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
My parents had a single mulberry tree that fruited profusely.  After their dog finished eating all of the berries within her reach, their yard became an aviary!  I often saw squirrels in it as well.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    9
that is good to know as I had 3 seedlings and am not sure if all 3 survived
rose macaskie


Joined: May 09, 2009
Posts: 2134
    It seems that some nurseries divide the flowering season in 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, that was for apples in Habitat Aid and others into a,b,c,d, and pears seem to come in only 3 or 4 different flowering moments.

      It seem that if you have an apple in the flowering group 1, then a tree in flowering group 1 or  a tree in flowering group 2 will pollinise it. YOU should buy to pollinise a tree another variety  of the same flowerign group or of a group that flowers just one period sooner or later when there is likely to be an overlap in the flowering period. 
      It seems that early flowerers will not necessarily be early fruiters, so you have two considerations, "when does this tree flower and when does it fruit, that is you do if you want to have an early apple, i have a Geneting that fruits in August but has small apples, I have it if it survives its first year. You can also get apples that fruit late and keep for a long time. It seems to me interesting to have early fruiting varieties and late fruiting ones instead of lots of apples all at the same time which is what i have had till now.

        Polk gives a list of self pollinating trees but many nurseries say what Brenda Groth says at the begining of this thread, that self pollinising fruit trees give bigger crops if they have another variety of tree to ferrtise them, which is not to say a list of self pollinising trees is not super useful, it is. agri rose macaskie.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6678
Location: Currently in Seattle. Probably moving 1 hour north by end of the year.
    
139
Agreed.  If the pollinators see a single tree, they may just snack and move on.  If they see a forest of blooming trees, they will hang out there for several days, working for YOU.  Lots of pretty flowers will attract a wider variety of pollinators also.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
 
subject: Fruit trees often need another tree to pollinise them.
 
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